Everybody loves a good construction site

Construction in old Boston

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this scene. See it larger.



Free tagging: 



    Well, the spindle things you see on the left tend to indicate the steam indication is to be used as a winch. Not sure if it's part of an older steam type shovel or not...

    Concrete mixer?

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    Looks like it is for mixing mortar or concrete.

    Coffee roaster

    for the first Starbucks to open in Boston in 1912. If not that, then a steam-powered mortar to keep rowdy NY Giants fans in line during the World Series the same year. ;-)


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    That looks safe.

    Orange cones

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    Weren't invented til 1962. Yellow tape in '77.

    * None of this is accurate, just snarky.

    Based on the earthworks...

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    And the No. 14 Maverick sign, I'd venture Maverick Square around 1900 as the East Boston Tunnel (now the MBTA Blue Line) was being dug...

    The Answer

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    Thanks for playing, folks! This photo shows work on "alterations to the East Boston tunnel." It was taken on June 29, 1922 on Chelsea Street. The caption says "Unloading engine," but we're not sure exactly what the engine is for.


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    Thanks for sharing this image! ​it appears to be a steam hoist, powered by a vertical boiler. Not sure what the writer of the caption meant by "loading engine," but the term "engine" was applied to various kinds of steam-powered machinery. Best guess is that either it was used to load spoil from the tunnel excavation into haulers for disposal, or s/he means it is being loaded onto the truck. If you can send me a higher resolution version of this image, I should be able to make out the name that's cast into the base of the boiler.

    Best wishes,